Skip to main content

Mammootty-Kamal Movie: Utopiayile Rajavu, a fictional place called Kokrankara & a Hero called CP Swathanthran!

Some movies flop at the box office and often I find myself wondering why. 

I read an old interview in Vanitha magazine about Malayalam film directors analyzing their movies that flopped. 

Director Kamal talked about how 'Azhakiya Ravanan' flopped at the box office and reasoned that it had a futuristic vision that Malayalis probably were not ready for at that time. He mentions specifically about the heroine depicted as having submitted herself to the anti-hero and then being accepted by 'the hero.' 

I disagree with Kamal's statement - that may not have been the sole reason for the movie becoming a flop. 

Padmarajan's movie 'Nammuku paarkaan mundiri thoppukal' depicted the heroine being raped by her step father and the hero carries her away - literally and cinematically - off her feet. Even today, the average Malayali loves that film. 

The same goes for the unconventional character of the main female protagonist  'Clara' in yet another Padmarajan starrer 'Thuvanathumbikal.'

Malayalis don't have a bias against the cinematic depiction of heroines who are depicted on screen to have lost their "virtue" before they reach the loving arms of the hero. But the script and execution has to be brilliant for it to be accepted- and not all directors succeed.

Don't get me wrong. Kamal is a director whose movies are thought-provoking and sometimes, trend-setting.

Utopiayile Rajavu: Criticism about depiction of women
I read many film reviews about Utopiayile Rajavu, criticizing depiction of women as sex objects. I disagree. 
The portrayal is neither obscene nor vulgar, it mirrors the changes in our society.
                                           (Source: Google Images)
Utopiayile Rajavu: A Fictional Place called Kokrankara
Most Malayalam films show real places. In Utopiayile Rajavu, the plot unfolds around a vibrant fictional place called Kokrankara. I also loved the funny song that is shown at the beginning of this film. It's very peppy!
If you think the name of the place is funny, wait a sec. 
The 'hero''s name is.....CP Swathanthran!
Utopiayile Rajavu: This Funny Story is told by.....Statues!

The statues of a dead Gandhian and that of Jesus Christ (with an unusual sarcastic look on his face) are dumped together in a sculptor's backyard. 

The Gandhian tells Jesus about his son CP Swathanthran (starring Mammooty) who lives in Kokrankara, is in love with an activist girl (starring Jewel Mary)  and also waging a legal battle to get back his property from the clutches of a scheming landlord cousin. The actor who plays the role of the cousin is a very talented actor, especially in portraying mean roles! 
Utopiayile Rajavu: This Funny Story is told by.....Statues!
In Utopiayile Rajavu, the local activist Uma Devi is portrayed brilliantly by Jewel Mary. I liked the scene where a bunch of friends and the hero come to "bride-see" her and she says, "I am an activist. I work in the nights, travel a lot, most of my friends are males and I don't intend to cut my connections or my priorities just because I am getting married."
Think of Bangalore Days, where a girl who has great ambitions, toes her parents' way of thinking by rushing into a marriage because the family astrologer insists. I still struggle to understand the logic of glorifying this. 


Utopiayile Rajavu: What I Didn't Like
Kamal's Utopiayile Rajavu doesn't have much scope for an actor of Mammootty's calibre. The hero's role is of a village simpleton who becomes politically astute in tackling bigger issues other than installing his father's statue.
I didn't like a certain scene where a Muslim woman refuses to feed her baby unless her demand to meet Kerala CM. Oomen Chandy is fulfilled and then when CP Swathanthran tells her to feed the baby, she obeys. I can't think of any mother putting her new born baby through such hell for any reason and if she did, why would she change her mind just to obey an absolute stranger! It just didn't make any sense.
Kamal's Utopiayile Rajavu is a socio-political drama that shows us candidly everything that is happening in Kerala. It shows that every Malayali lives in an Utopian land and refuses to somehow take action when faced with reality.
A dialogue that got huge applause in the theater is when the hero barges into a Minister's office without appointment and is asked, "Who are you?," and CP Swathanthran replies, "I am a 'maramandan' like most of the janam in this state who are foolish enough to vote in elections for parties like yours so that you can prosper and we - the janam - can continue to suffer..."
That sums up an ordinary Keralite's helplessness!
And one more thing, do you know what's the latest weapon used by Kerala's local "quotation gangs" - this will blow your mind - it's stinky waste bin potshots!
Last but not the least, I love the dialogue that Lord Krishna's 'statue' tells Christ's statue when they pass by each other - that marks the finesse of a director who knows his job and his audience!

But ultimately, it's the people's verdict. And sadly, this film flopped at the box office.

Is there any movie that you liked but it flopped at the box office? Why do you think that it flopped? Do share your thoughts.

Comments

Most Popular Posts

The Ugly Truth about Caste in Kerala

Many years ago, when I wrote this post on Kerala's caste system, I had not considered that I would receive such online abuse for writing this or that I would be seen as some one who was trying to insult other castes. The intention of writing is always to share an experience or a perspective, not to insult others.  My experience of motherhood and marriage would be different from yours. When I write about my experience, it is illogical to abuse me because our journeys are entirely different narratives. My life and yours are not the same at any given point of time.

My question is - why do you ABUSE any caste or person here? You are free to disagree but why do you ABUSE? How does that reflect on YOU?

In my article, I shared what trials I went through, without any intention to insult any community.A new book 'Ants among Elephants' written by Sujatha Gidla, who writes about herself as being born 'an untouchable in India' teaches you everything you probably want to know abo…

Mahamrityunjaya Mantra: Meaning, Benefit of Chanting and Who can Chant the Mantra

Mahadmrityunjaya Mantra: Benefit of chanting this mantra nee

There are very few mantras that are as powerful as the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra. Do read my post: Does Mahamrityunajaya mantra really work?Of course, it does but you need to undertstand the meaning and significance of the mantra first.
This mantra is believed to have the power to remove all sufferings, diseases and bestow the one who chants it with good health and long life. It is also believed that constant contemplation of the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra can help spiritual aspirants to overcome the cycle of birth and death.
What got me fascinated about this mantra is something personal.  I learned this mantra from my father but it is my maternal grandmother who chanted it all the time and repeatedly told me of its tremendous power to protect. However, I did not chant this mantra regularly. [ Do READ: THE POWER OF LOVE]
But at the age of two, my son was taught some mantras by my mother who explained what it means to him and he becam…

Amazing Signs You are an Earth Angel

Doreen Virtue’s book, “Assertiveness for Earth Angels” brings to life the reality of Earth Angels in very easy way. It’s an exciting must-read! 

[DO READ: The POWER OF LOVE]

Earth Angels have amazing superpowers in: MusicArtsWriting HealingManifesting miracles for others such as controlling weather conditions and  becoming invisible at will.
[MUST READ: A Dad's Advice to the Daughter He loves]
DO READ: ASK MORE, FEAR LESS.

How to Identify Earth Angels by their Traits
To know whether you are an Earth Angel, take a look at their known traits that are explained in this book:


You have a graceful and compassionate aura that inspires people.Your presence “lifts” everyone to happier spirits – it is proof of who you really are.You don’t judge others but you overdo the “acceptance” bit. So, you tolerate even those who show no respect for boundaries.You cannot stand anyone suffering or being in pain. You are constantly “rescuing people” because it is in your nature to want to see everyone happy in …

Gayatri Mantra as Panchamukhi: Get it right or let it go

Most people do not understand the importance of chanting the Gayatri mantra because they are not aware of its power. It is only when I began to read Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's teachings that I learned how sacred and powerful the chanting of the Gayatri mantra is.
The Vedas represent the breath of God. The Gayatri mantra is the very basis of the Vedas. Try not to undertake chanting the Gayatri mantra as a light endeavor or as a hobby. It has to be chanted with faith, discipline and purity of mind and body. Be steady with your sadhana if you want to reap the spiritual dividend associated with the Gayatri mantra  and never once hesitate once you decide to do it.
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba said that the Gayatri Mantra is referred to as Pancha Mukhi, the Goddess with five faces that represent the five pranas or life forces. Here's more on it.


Chant the Gayatri Mantra correctly: Pause Five Times Here are some important things to keep in mind while chanting the Gayatri mantra:

1. Wh…

Book Review: Mini Sukumaran Nair's B3/703, Gulmohar Park portrays a haunting descent into the vulnerability of childhood

There are books that blaze into your thoughts and here's a book that definitely stayed within me even after weeks of reading it, With its blazing red flower cover, Mini Sukumaran Nair's novel B3/703, Gulmohar Park, caught my attention in a bookshop. As a child, I grew up reading the books of Enid Blyton, RK Narayan and Anita Desai. Mini Sukumaran Nair's refreshing narrative brought back bittersweet memories of those growing up years. Right from the first page, I felt like I could curl up with this heartwarming novel. And just in case you are wondering, this isn't a novel that was sent to me for review nor do I know the author or its publisher. I just loved the book, that's it!


This heartwarming tale of childhood, family drama and tragic upheavals is narrated from the perspective of a little girl called Madhura, whose mother Vani is a maid in the home of an affluent Punjabi family and later on, through the perspective of her mother's employers, Avantika and Siris…

Mumbai Police Movie Review: Prithviraj breaks the typical 'hero' mold, challenges sexual stereotyping

Exploring a completely different dimension in his latest film Mumbai Police, Director Rosshan Anddrews delivers a fast-paced, thriller film after his award winning fims such as Udayananu Tharam, Notebook and others.



To flesh out the script written by Boby Sanjay, Rosshan Anddrews ropes in actors such as Prithviraj, Rahman and Jayasurya to portray three police officers: Antony Moses, Farhan and Aryan respectively.
The story begins with a phone call that Antony Moses (starring Prithviraj) makes to Farhan (starring Rahman) saying that he has solved the murder mystery of Aryan (starring Jayasurya). Just as he says this, there is an accident and Antony Moses loses his memory. From then, Farhan's attempt is to take Antony through people and places that are likely to trigger his memory so that they can solve the murder of their close friend and colleague Aryan. A series of events happen, almost hurtling us towards it.
And I am taking the liberty to hand out trophies for the following:
'M…

Feeling depressed and low? This guy at Costa Coffee taught me something invaluable about being at peace!

At Costa Coffee outlet at DLF Mall in  Noida today, I hovered blankly over an iced latte. I wasn't in my best mood. You know how it is, there are days when one feels disappointed and let down by the self and withdraw into an inner shell.  [READ: Does sincerity have any value?]

FOLLOW MY BOARDS ON PINTEREST

And so it happens that the server at Costa Coffee who brought to our table what we had ordered is a smiling young man. He has a big, happy smile on his face.
We looked up. He was conveying something with his fingers to my son, who had his headphones switched on and was listening to music. I looked up and understood then that the young man was deaf and unable to speak, which is why he was using sign language to communicate.
This is what I think he communicated to my son, ''Enjoy your sandwich.You have a good smile and a good day.  Thank you for coming today, happy to serve you."
My son was also gesturing back to him with a bright smile and conveying thank you. [READ: Chil…

Top 10 Skincare tips for Summer

Come summer, and we women worry a lot about how the sun lashes out on our skin. True, skincare tips for the summer are plenty but what about the hushed secrets - yes, those tried and tested family secrets that are passed on from mother to daughters? [ALSO READ: How to NEVER EVER GIVE UP on the spiritual path]

FOLLOW MY BOARDS ON PINTEREST

Here are some that are totally easy to do. Best of all, these are effective and bring on a feel-good factor in the peak of summer.

1. Replace water with rosewater. It keeps your skin luminous and fragrant throughout the day. It's a good toner too.

2. Cleanse your skin by combining these ingredients - honey, milk, rosewater/rosepetals and turmeric. Add a dash of olive oil and yes, it feels wonderful.

3. Almond oil body baths are a must-have! You will smell delicious all day. This summer, skip all those body lotions & moisturizers! You will love the way almond oil pampers your skin all day!

4. Use a mixture of almond oil and olive oil for your fe…

The Amazing Tale of Peddabottu: How she battled all odds, took leadership roles and defied conventional norms in a unique way

When we first come into the world, we mark our entry with a big cry.  The wise ones say that we loathe to leave the safety of the mother's womb. As we grow up, we learn to seek happiness in the things we do. We find different ways to be happy. The wise ones says, ''Pain makes you strong.'' [READ: Feeling depressed and low?]

The truth about happiness is that it teaches us nothing, whereas pain nudges out of our complacent comfort zones.  It teaches us to reflect, look within and find the answers from a zone that we are not usually familiar dealing with.





Pain and sorrow manifest in our lives differently and across different phases but how we react to it defines our the direction of our life. A newborn child undergoes pain when vaccinated but will a mother stop her child from being vaccinated simply because she doesn't want her child to undergo pain?
[Must Read: A Dad's Advice to the Daughter He loves]

So, there is pain that both protects and gives strength though…

Gayatri Mantra: Why chant it?

Gayatri mantra's mythological description is that it is the Mother of the Vedas and the source of infinite wisdom. We are familiar with it but do we know its spiritual significance? I'd say we don't really know. If we don't know the meaning of what we are chanting, why chant it at all? 
Gayatri Mantra is 'Vedasara' Many times, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Baba has said, "The Gayatri is considered as Vedasara, 'the essence of the Vedas.'" For the same reason, Bhagawan says that the Gayatri mantra should be practised with utmost care and discipline. 
The reason I wanted to share it here is because the Gayatri is extolled universally but we do not approach its practice with the discipline that is required in order for us to explore its full and absolute potential to harness our own spiritual growth. 
But first, it is important to understand the nature of the Gayatri mantra itself. Most of us chant the Gayatri without knowing its real significance. That is of …